Tonight I checked into my hotel room in Chicago as part of my regular cadence of visiting FM’s offices around the country. I flipped on the TV and the local news featured a dismal report about Detroit’s suburbs. The copy of Time magazine I had in my bag, same thing: Detroit Goes Bust.
Well, we all know things are tough in Detroit right now. Which is exactly why we’re bringing OpenCo there next month.
OpenCo is at its core a movement celebrating disruptive businesses that are mission driven. And when I visited there a year ago, I found them in spades – there was a sense of optimism despite the crisis, a feeling of opportunity to start all over, rewrite the rules, begin again. So I’m proud we’ll be highlighting the amazing people and companies who are opening their doors to the public this September.
At the hear of all OpenCo festivals is the Advisory Council, and in Detroit an amazing crew of people have joined the cause. They all believe in not only the OpenCo movement, in the importance of this type of community event when it comes to re-building Detroit. They include serial Valley entrepreneur Jay Adelson (a Detroit native), Director of the Arab American National Museum Devon Akmon, Team Detroit Chief Creative Officer Toby Barlow, Twitter CEO (and Detroit native) Dick Costolo, Professor Jeff DeGraff, uber connector Kerry Doman, New Economy Initiative Executive Director Dave Egner, City of Detroit executive Karla Henderson, GM exec Mary Henige, Meridian Health CIO Tom Lauzon, ePrize founder and Detroit Venture Partner’s CEO Josh Linker, Chrysler exec Neville Manohar, Brightmoor Alliance’s Kirk Mayes, Sue Mosey, President of Midtown Detroit, Inc., Mark Petroff, CEO of Marketing Associates, Benzinga CEO Jason Raznick, Richard Rogers, president of the College for Creative Studies, Wayne State’s Ned Staebler, and Marc Weiser, Managing director and co-founder of RPM Ventures.
That’s quite a list of accomplished folks, all pulling for a new Detroit. For a complete list of the OpenCo/Detroit Advisory Council click here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
On September 12th, over 60 organizations in Detroit will open their doors and present how their mission and vision contributes to a revitalized Detroit. Some of the featured HostCos include Quicken Loans, Detroit Bus Company, Shinola, Brightmoor Alliance, Detroit Labs and McClure’s Pickles, Action Sports Detroit, Nextek Power Systems, Detroit Venture Partners (featuring nearly 60 companies in its incubator!), Curbed Detroit, Detroit Denim, Chalkfly, Über Detroit and many, many more. Each of these companies reflect the OpenCo values: they are mission driven, open and transparent working hard to make a dent in the universe. We believe strongly in showcasing organizations that exemplify these values because we believe innovation and disruption is what will drive not only the new story of Detroit, but the global economy as well.
Opening up OpenCo and speaking at our VIP Plenary event in the Madison Building on September 11th will be Mayor Dave Bing, as well as Dave Egner, Jeff DeGraff, Ben Bator, Amy Kaheril, Monty Luke and Michelle Srbinovich. It’s going to be a very special event. Huge thanks to American Express OPEN Forum, our tour sponsor, and to Yahoo! and IPG MediaBrands as well.
Registration is now open and it is free to attend these sessions and experience the innovation that’s driving Detroit to a new chapter. Click here to register today and get in on seeing our country’s most compelling urban turn around story. I hope to see you there!